A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


An easy win was just what we all needed after that horrific series in Philly. Tim Hudson gives up five homers all season and the Mets promptly smack two to get out to a big lead and John Maine gives the gift of innings by going seven and allowing one earned run while striking out eight.

Marlon came up big swinging on the first pitch in the top of the ninth to break the game wide open with a bases clearing double. Heilman lowered his ERA to 3.29 and has a 2.52 ERA since the break.

Of course it is not all perfect as the Phillies kept pace and won and remained two games back. Taking this Braves series is huge for many obvious reasons but the Mets are going to need a little help to create some breathing room and it looks as though they are going to get a boost from Pedro Martinez who is now slated to start on Monday.

Pedro and the addition of all the call-ups to help alleviate some of the strain on the bullpen are all excellent things. One thing that has kind of irked me was that it seems as though Phil Humber is only getting the call to the bigs because of his last two starts. Really? I know he has been up and down all year, but if they are basing any call up on their last two starts that is kind of perplexing.

They should be calling him up because he is a hard thrower who can potentially have a big impact out of the bullpen. With not many relievers that any of us implicitly trust and way to many appearances by Guillermo Mota, it would seem the Mets should be anxious to be able to add as many arms that can help.

At this point, Mota would be a useless addition to the post season roster unless something drastically changes for him. It is not that his stuff looks bad as we have all discussed before, but his pitch selection has been flat out horrendous. The other day when he got Howard to swing and miss badly on two outside change ups, wouldn't it stand to reason to give him another? Up 1 and 2 on Howard he gives him meatball of a fastball on the outer half and it gets destroyed.

Whomever's fault his pitch selection is needs to start doing a better job. But since I do not anticipate that happening, Mota needs to take a backseat to Humber or whomever else so the Mets can see who can contribute meaningfully to this team down the stretch and into the playoffs. Right now, only Feliciano, Heilman, Wagner, and Smith (if his bicep tendinitis actually turns out to be bicep tendinitis) would get the nod from me to pitch in the playoffs and Willie needs to utilize September to figuring out what other reliever or two will be able to help this team.

Of course the Mets will have a starter headed to the pen come playoff time barring any injuries, but I would expect two more to make the team and one of them possibly being Shoe as a left handed specialist and one more. One place the Mets could feel comfortable is the bench. With four really good hitters off the bench and a balanced four hitters, the Mets bench depth is second to none.

It is clear the Mets have the most well rounded team on paper, but we have all been reading a lot about the complacency of this team. It is though they think they are going to waltz in September without incident, but it is time they wake up and start playing with more urgency. The Phillies are and there are two teams out West that might have something to say about the Wild Card coming out of the East.

* * *

  • Simply classic.

    Heck with this, the best comment of any commentator of the day was Kay, who said something about Joba Chamberlain like this, and I am paraphrasing, "there is this NEW stat out there that a lot of numbers guys follow nowadays, called WHIP".

    Oh my, poor Michael.

    And Rob - please - the fact that Suzyn Waldman is our radio broadcaster more than "makes up" for the quality in NY.

    The Yankees have some decent color commentators on the YES network, but their play by play guys on the TV and radio are horrific and Waldman is very irritating.

  • Mmmmmmm...optimum flavor.

  • #1 reason I should not be allowed out in social settings....

    On Thursday I went out to imbibe some delicious alcoholic beverages. My friend gets a text from a girl he had met on Wednesday which read something like this:

    You are awesome! For Labor day, BBQ or Central Park perhaps?

    Note the enthusiasm she exhibits in regards to him as a person. So I ask, "can I text her back"? He mistakenly agrees to my proposal and reply is the following:

    Sure! You bring the rubbers and I'll bring the pain!

    Her reply:

    fuck off!

  • You have got to respect Jimmy Rollins.

    "You don't know until you get there," Rollins said. "We've been good the last couple of years. We are in it a lot earlier this year than the past. But until you win that one big game, nothing has changed. We know we are never out of a game if we get a good pitching performance.

    "When it comes down to the seventh, eighth, ninth inning, a team has to put us away. It isn't like we're just going to walk away because they have a two-, three- or four-run lead. But until you get over the proverbial [playoff] hump, nothing has changed."

  • Fuck yeah K Law.

    Kirby: (ny, ny): Keith- love your work. You and Neyer are the best. Who's YOUR choice for NL MVP as of right now? And who do you think the BBWAA will ultimately select at season's end? David Wright has been absolutely silly of late.

    SportsNation : (2:10 PM ET ) Wright would probably be my choice, given his numbers and his defensive value. Hanley Ramirez is having a better overall season at the plate, but he's a butcher on D, and anyway he has no realistic chance because they're in last.

    D Wright getting some love....and now K Law gets on my good side by saying what I've been saying for a looooong time.

    Stephen (East Greenbush, NY): Keith, I submitted this prior to the beginning of the chat, so I'll submit it (only!) one more time: , how long can a manager stick with his "closer" - til you fall out of first place? Wagner's last four appearances look like this: 4.1 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, ERA of 14.54, and three blown saves. The only one he didn't blow was a non-save 4-inning lead. Should Randolph keep running him out there?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:28 PM ET ) Yesterday really befuddled me. When was the last time Wagner got six outs? Is that really the day to try it out, especially with him struggling to command his fastball? Why leave Heilman to rot in the pen? I thought Willie was a good pen manager last year, but it's becoming clear that he's only a good pen manager when he has a good pen.

    Maybe I'm not so stupid?

  • Kevin Mulvey gets a long overdue promotion to New Orleans.

  • David Lennon muses whether or not Wright should be the front runner for MVP. Really though, I do think he should be at this point. You still hear Fielder's name a lot, but since hitting .321 in May, he has hit .258, .277, and .267 since then and for me, he looks more like your quintessential homerun masher more than an MVP. Not that it is a bad thing, but Wright just does so many more things. I thought Beltran could have won it last year with a lower average than you would like from an MVP, but he is also a Gold Glove centerfielder who contributes in so many other ways.

  • Joba gets a two game suspension for clearly throwing at Youklis and it really does not matter much anyway since he cannot pitch on back to back days. I still love how the front office trusts Torre so little in regards to beating up his relievers that they had to hand down a mandate on how to use Joba. Douche...

  • Ted Berg has a nice nickname for Mota...The Human Forfeit.

  • Willie Collazo should be up this weekend as well and it would be nice for him to get a look because he is not just a lefty who can get lefties out. The Mets have some guys that just might be able to help solidify this bullpen, but the caveat is they have to give them a test run. And really, it is not as if everyone is lighting it up out there and there are no innings for these reinforcements to get.

  • Just watching these two clips got me really fucking excited about Pedro's return.

    "From 85 to 88, if I have command of my pitches I'll get anybody out. I wouldn't hesitate to say that. There's going to be days that you're going to be lit up, but those are the days that you're not making pitches, regardless of how hard you're throwing."

  • Surprise! Willie chose Pelfrey over Humber because of his experience.

    "[Pelfrey] has pitched and has a little bit of comfort for getting ready for a start," Randolph said. "We're still in a pennant race."

    I'm not making that up. He might come out and pitch well and throw strikes while attacking hitters and not paint corners. Anything is possible, but this entire myth that young kids cannot step up is irritating. If you do not give a young kid a chance to fail, how exactly do you know he cannot succeed? Instead, you would rather go with a known quantity that you will put you at a competitive disadvantage? Perplexing. I guess we know why Brian Lawrence got so many chances.

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    In regards to last nights conversation about the announcers, yeah the rest of the league sucks. There are some teams I can actually put up listening to, but the Mets announcers just have it all.
    The voice, the humor, the insight, all 3 of them together is just... beauty.

    John Maine was just balls deep in the 6th inning.

    I REALLY wanna try and make it to the Mets game that has Pedro's first start. It's going to be an event. I'll miss work/school, anything to see that one.

    When you look at Humber's number overall they don't look that good but relative to the league he's one of the top pitchers. He's among the league leaders in ERA, K's, and first in WHIP. And it can't be stressed enough that it's a hitters league.

    With guys like Pedro, El Duque, and Tom Glavine, you can't start "penciling" any post-season roster yet. Those guys are either old, have injury issues, or both. So in the end, Maine or Oliver Perez might not even have to go to the pen. Just gotta wait until the Mets win the division...

    "new stat called WHIP"? haha. If I'm not mistaken this was always on the back of baseball cards since atleast when I was a kid in the early 90's. Even my dad knows what WHIP is...

    Regarding your text, Mike you are the FUCKING MAN! HAHA, that was hilarious. Just the thing I need to read before I head to work. Good stuff.

    Truthfully, I see Ryan Howard as the MVP again. He misses a month and a half of the season is out producing Wright, Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, shit is nuts. Ryan Howard is a man-beast.

    I'm very impressed with Kevin Mulvey, he's doing alot better than I ever though he would when he first got drafted. I was "down" on that pick.

    If WIllie Collao or Phil Humber can be "lights-out" and pull a K-Rod I REALLY want to see one of them make the post-season roster, my opinion on Willie would change... ALOT if he has the "balls" to bring those guys.

    Like I said before, I'm only okay with Pelfrey getting the start if Humber is used srructly in the pen and is given a chance to succeed and can dominate enough to make the post-season roster.
    But odds are Pelfrey sucks donkey balls, failed, and we see Humber in there by the 5th inning to "rescue" the Mets. He pitches well, the Mets come back and win the game, Humber gets the "win"!
    Ya heard it here first folks, the prediction of the day!

    12:59 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    John Maine did good and that high fastball really saved him. It appears to rise, though not scientifically possible and just enable him to get on top of the bats and have them pop it up. Really great inning.

    Well, the New Orleans division of the PCL is actually closer to neutral. That being said, he is at the top of the league in many categories and that has to count for a lot and gives you his numbers in a much better context.

    WHIP has been in plain sight for a long, long time. Michael Kay is a gem.

    Howard is a butcher on the field and like Fielder, is more of your quintessential homerun hitter. He’s got big power and RBI #’s with a lower batting average. Last year he hit .300 and was unconscious for the second half. He certainly deserves to be in the conversation as does Rollins and Utley, but they all fall short for me. Utley and Rollins actually rank higher for me.

    Same here in regards to Mulvey. Binghamton is a hitter’s park and he gave up so few homers and was excellent. My expectations of him are certainly higher than they were once he was drafted.

    I REALLY want to see one of them make the post-season roster, my opinion on Willie would change... ALOT if he has the "balls" to bring those guys.

    Which is why I’m extremely impressed with the Yankees going with Ian Kennedy over Mussina. My how times have changed. Unreal….

    Like I said before, I'm only okay with Pelfrey getting the start if Humber is used srructly in the pen and is given a chance to succeed and can dominate enough to make the post-season roster.

    He appears to be the long man and a lot may have to happen for him to get a legit chance. Like a someone shitting the bed or going down necessitating more innings for them. It would not surprise me to see Mota continually get more innings in big spaces.

    I did think about the prospects that Humber gets used as the long man today should Pelfrey get into trouble early and with the call-ups, he will have a short leash.

    1:13 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm not sure who'd I'd rather have starting, Pelf or Humber. Everyone seems down on Pelf, but I liked what I saw from him his last start or two before he left, and I'm really not sure either guy has much more than 6 innings and 4 runs in them at this point, anyway.

    Unfortunately, I'm still not sold on Mulvey being much more than a 5th starter. Useful, but...

    Just to temper expectations, Collazo is not going to come in and be K-Rod. He's not even in the same class. He's a 27 year old who has been downright bad at many levels before finding some success since joining the Mets and dropping to sidearm. And he's hot now, which helps. "Serviceable lefty", which I would take in a heartbeat, is his absolute upside. Humber... not sure. I'd be shocked if you don't see most of the relievers go back to 1 inning appearances, and see Humber and Collazo get a lot of the "trailing" reliever outings. So he'll get his chances to pitch, but he'll have to be pretty impressive quickly - we don't have much time.

    Unless the Mets and/or Wright collapse, he WILL win the MVP - if only because of the slump of Reyes and Beltran cooling off. You'll need to make the playoffs (or miss by a game), which will eliminate Holliday, Fielder, Hanley, Chipper and probably Pujols. The Phils votes will split between Howard, Rollins, and Utley. No Dodgers, D-backs, Pads, or Cubs will merit sincere consideration. Before Reyes slumped, I was afraid he'd split votes with Wright. But not now...

    Benny - agree completely, I am amazed how many bad announcers there are out there. Last year Mark Grace was yelling out of the press box trying to jinx Pedro's no-no bid. Thom Brennaman is incredibly anti-big market. The Braves' team are ridiculous homers. But the Yanks are ALWAYS the worst. And, in all seriousness, we Met fans have been so lucky. The SNY team now is Top 3 - Darling & Cohen in particular are fantastic. Radio is OK, Howie's good but slipped and McCarthy is OK. But even in year's past, Murphy was a HOF'er, and McCarver, Kiner, and Zabriski made a real good team.

    Any chance Pelf throws a good enough game to get us a win today???


    2:52 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I know Collazo is old...but he certainly can be useful. He was old for the B-Mets when he was putting up big numbers, but he's not an overpowering guy that would ever get a good look early in his career.

    RE: Pelf...he shows a ++ change sometimes but he is very inconsistent. Long term, I'm not down on him, though I don't see him as a #1 ever, but I like Humber better in the short term and probably over his career.

    I think Mulvey's ceiling is a good #3 and a #5 at worst. Four good pitches, though nothing spectacular. I liken him to John Maine.

    4:53 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Holy shit....I just turned the game on...3-0 in the fifth? Someone please give me a scouting report. How has Pelfrey looked?

    4:57 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Poor fifth inning. Lost all command from the stretch after hitting Francoeur.

    Flashed a plus slider and a decent change. Definitely the most impressive slider i've ever seen Pelfrey throw. Nasty bite, great tilt.


    6:04 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Hmm...that is certainly good. I did see some of the fifth where he lost command.

    I've seen him flash a plus change (when he K'd Berkman) and to hear him flashing a plus slider is nice.

    If he can someone bring one up to plus and one to average he would be dangerous.

    How was his fastball command? Any nibbling or did he attack batters and trust his stuff?

    6:13 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Fastball command was okay. Definitely mediocre. He seems to have the same disease Maine does, only worse. His fastball moves more than Maine's and being that tall only exacerbates the issue.

    Chicken Parm and Veronica Mars beckons.


    6:24 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "I'm really not sure either guy has much more than 6 innings and 4 runs in them at this point, anyway."

    Glad I'm so smart...Nice start Pelf, way to stick to the Braves.

    I got blacked out today (thanks FOX), but the radio guys were raving about him. Sounded like he lost control once or twice, but went right after guys otherwise. Set down first 11, mostly on broken bat grounders. 7 K's, 3BB's, 1 H in 6 IP is pretty darn good...

    mr. met - I agree, Collazo might be useful, but expecting anything more than that is probably setting expectations too high.

    Nice win boys... Come' on Florida...


    6:36 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    Wow Pelf. We hardly knew ye! Surprising performance as he was aggressive and threw the change even though he knew maybe 30% of them would be strikes. Braves are a strikeout team, but it was still nice to see 7 k's. And best of all, when Francoeur got all hippity about being him, Pelfrey walked towards him like he wasn't going to back down if it came to that. All in all, the most satisfying stuff I've ever seen from him. Not perfect but really workable. Is it a game comparable to Johnny Maine in last year's playoffs or Ollie's sudden appearance in the same? This could realistically change what we may come to expect from Pelf (as it was for the other two mentioned).

    Mulvey remimds me afar of Mr. B. Bannister only with a little more gas.

    6:46 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Collazo is not going to come in and be K-Rod. He's not even in the same class.

    Shit your right, I guess I meant Humber more. But your right, sorry.

    Mike Pelfrey was very impressive. What I liked the most were all the broken bats and grounders.
    Alright Mr. Pelfrey, you win, you did great, not keep it up.

    9:50 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Benny - no problem, of course. Just didn't want to get everyone's hopes up for those who might not know him. Expectations can ruin fans persepective on some of these kids, you know? (see, Pelfrey, Humber, etc.) But I think Collazo will fall somewhere between Royce Ring (borderline LOOGY) and Pedro Feliciano (very good 1-inning reliever who found himself late in his career). If he's even a bit better than Ring, it might help this pen eat some innings.

    Phils lose, Mets back to 3 up. Gotta like the Marlins dropping a 7-spot on Durbin before he can record an out.

    Congrats to Clay Buchholz and Applachain St. with big days today...


    10:27 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Yeah I saw that no-no, good shit. Pretty fucking impressive considering it was his SECOND career start.
    Phillies suck ;-)

    10:47 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I understand Clay Buchholz was picked with the comp pick awarded when the Mets signed Pedro.

    I’m not sure of the Fox guns accuracy but Pelfrey touched 97 at times and 95 more than a few times. The movement on the fastball was good and although it makes it tougher to command his pitches I don’t want him to reign in that movement or ease up on the velocity. It caused all the broken bats and ground balls.

    I was most impressed with his slider or slurve that he threw in a couple of critical points in the game to left handed hitters in fastball counts that made the Braves hitters look inept.

    Mota pitched one inning (thank goodness) and threw a couple of hard hit “at ‘em” balls. One Wright turned into a nice twin killing.

    Feliciano looked more than solid.

    Randolph managed a fine game.

    A game like this can easily absorb two base runners being picked off 2nd (Reyes and Gotay).

    12:26 AM

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    Your friend should view her reply in the most favorable light. At least he won’t need the condoms. BTW if the girl was “hot” and your friend had taken aggressive action towards you I would guess from watching all those “Law and Order” episodes it would qualify as justifiable homicide.

    12:44 AM

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